École La Prairie school council president Valentine Skeels was appointed to the 10-member Alberta Advisory Council on the Francophonie.
Skeels is also president of the Association Canadienne-Française de l’Alberta Régionale de Red Deer, as well as an advisory board member of the Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership and a member of the Official Language Committee for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.
The provincial council will advise the minister responsible for the Francophone Secretariat as the government sets priorities and implements French policy to support the vitality of Alberta’s French-speaking communities.
Announced in June 2017, the French policy provides guiding principles the province will use to develop and augment services and supports in French within available resources.
There are 31 communities in Alberta with a francophone presence, whether it is a francophone school, a cluster of organizations or facilities and/or a francophone cultural centre.
According to the 2016 census, French was the most spoken language in Alberta after English. More than 268,000 Albertans speak French.
Alberta notably has the highest net growth of francophone populations in Canada after Quebec.